We have talked a lot about how to select a profitable tipsters in the Bettingmetrics blog. However, another salient matter for punters is to decide with which betting provider widely known as a bookmaker to place their money on various events. Nowadays, there are numerous online bookmakers out there competing for your attention and trying to trick you with their offers. Many of these companies will be very happy to take your money but can cause you problems with withdrawals and limit your stakes if you are making some consistent profits. In my personal view, having a betting portfolio of more than 10 bookmakers becomes a hassle with verification, documentation and knowing what is going on in your accounts. Of course, using a smart bet tracker such as Bettingmetrics can resolve the latter easily by providing you with the right bankroll management tools in order to stay on the top of your finances. It greatly depends on your personal betting goals what bookie should you be choosing. I will aim to provide advice for different types of bettors here by outlining several important criteria to consider before opening a new betting account:
Bookie with high odds
This is essential for implementing value betting and consequently increasing your betting bankroll! The obvious choice in that aspect is Pinnacle since they will never limit your account and are taking the lowest margins on the planet. Having an account with them is a must! However, bear in mind that they tend to set their odds very well! Unless you are using high-level betting analytics and have a deep understanding of the sports betting matter, it may be challenging to increase your betting bankroll from betting exclusively on their platform.
A financially stable bookmaker
Nowadays, as it becomes more competitive and expensive to acquire new users a lot of bookmakers are consolidating for financial reasons. For example, 888 sport and Unibet are both using the same gaming solution software and they are providing the same odds, and hence it makes no sense for you to have an account with both of them. On the other hand, though, Betfair and Paddy Power are also a part of a bigger company (called Group). However, they are providing different odds and markets! They are a publicly-traded company and are part of FTSE 100 Index which means they are thoroughly scrutinised and have a lot of financial protection. Hence, you can be sure your money are safe with both Paddy Power and Betfair and you will have a lot of customer rights – they definitely want to avoid scandals as it will negatively influence the stock price movement.
With online betting being the norm nowadays, a lot of bookmakers have emerged in recent years. The ones that operate in the UK are strictly regulated by the Gambling Commission so you can be 100% confident that they will not vanish with your money. However, some foreign bookmakers are not regulated at all or have doggy licences and have amazing odds and bonuses. Just wait until you try to make a substantial withdrawal from them though… you may never see your money coming back to your bank account – yes that does happen in 21st century.
Good welcome offers (especially if you are a novice bettor)
The easiest way to build your betting bankroll is to take advantage of free bets and other sign-up bonuses. A lot of providers will give you a free bet, but many have ridiculous turnover requirements which unfortunately many punters overlook. However, some companies have realised that such absurd terms and conditions could put users off very quickly and some firms have decided to offer straightforward and transparent offers. A prime example of that is Sportingbet. The company offers a 15 GBP bonus which is very easy to unlock!
Bookmakers that offer unique events (especially if you are following tipsters that bet on obscure events)
The undisputed leaders in that aspect are bet365, as they offer anything from Champions League to Argentina Division III Reserves. However, some of their competitors like Bet-At-Home have also recently started targeting these markets and are sometimes providing even better odds. Furthermore, since they do not have bet365's team to limit accounts, you will likely enjoy more time winning money from them
Bookmakers that do not adjust their odds fast (especially if you are following tipsters that bet on obscure events)
As I have mentioned, if you want to exploit value betting and thus ensure consistent growth of your betting portfolio, the best games to win money from are in the lower leagues. A lot of professional bettors are using bet365 though and thus the odds there get adjusted to “fair odds” rather fast. However, in some bookmakers like Sportingbet and Bet-at-home, the odds often provide a foundation for value betting in obscure games. The reason for that is simple: not many people have accounts with these two bookmakers which means that the odds there will not incorporate the available information rapidly. Therefore, this gives you unique opportunities for both arbitrage betting and value betting !
Excellent customer service
As bookmakers have to pay for live chat representatives and people in a call centre, many such organisations choose to only have email support. I personally would feel insecure with such providers, as waiting for replies can take days if not a week in busy periods. It is probable that you will only seldom need support via live chat or telephone. However, in case you face an issue like wrongfully settled bet or a disaster like a hacked account, you have to act promptly! Therefore, being able to get in touch with customer service immediately can help you recover thousands of pounds! For example, Paddy Power and Sportingbet have live chat support - providing a high and consistent level of customer support.
Good mobile betting (for customer experience and some extra cash)
The Betfair and PaddyPower apps are probably the ones I personally fancy the most in that aspect, as they save you a lot of time when searching and placing bets – you can also download them for Android or iOS. If you are following a tipster, being able to stake immediately is particularly important, as odds may drop heavily if you spend too much time browsing for the bet you need! Furthermore, you can watch some games on your mobile for free (the live streaming feature) and some bookmakers will also give you exclusive offers on the mobile version. You can see why that factor matters!
Methods and fees for Deposit and Withdrawal
If you live in the UK, most bookmakers will have very small fees (if any) for withdrawal and deposit. You would also have the chance to use e-wallets, bank transfer, credit card, etc. for your transactions. However, once I was charged $15 USD for a withdrawal of $100 from a foreign bookie! Needless to say – I stopped betting with them! My personal experience is that Paddy Power has the fastest withdrawals and no fees for depositing or withdrawing. Please, be aware though that all bookmakers will apply charges on you if you withdraw in a different currency (e.g. if your bookmaker account is in GBP and your e-wallet is in EUR).
Follow-up offers (if you want to earn some extra cash)
The offers after the welcome bonus are nowhere near lucrative but they can still mean you can win some good money. For example, Paddy Power are frequently offering bargains on horse racing (such as MoneyBack and enhanced odds) whereas Sportingbet usually comes up with awesome offers for football. Bear in mind though that you have to subscribe for bookmakers to send you offers to your mailbox if you want to know if such promotions are available. Quite often the messages they are sending you will be nowhere near relevant though!
Specific sports (if you are specialising)
Although most bookmakers have sports betting, some of them attract almost exclusively people who stake mostly on football, whereas others have customers who bet on all kinds of sports. Thus, if you want to bet on lesser-known sports like bandy, I would advise you to spend some time researching online to see which providers are viable for you generally speaking bet 365 are offering large portfolio of sports.
Brokers (for successful high-rollers)
If you have adopted value betting, have the right analytical tools and fundamental knowledge for the sports that you are betting on and have some restriction issues with the major stream bookies, you should consider using the services of a betting broker. Then you can get access to Pinnacle Sports and a few other Asian bookmakers with a single account. You will enjoy much bigger liquidity as well as better odds in most of the cases. As with everything in life, everything comes at a price and unfortunately, there are drawbacks for taking advantage of these brokers, such as not customer service and they are not regulated locally.
The choice of the bookmaker is something you should take seriously, and I would advise you to read carefully some extensive reviews before opening an account. You get diversification benefits and the opportunity to generate more money from opening accounts with more bookmakers. If you do that, a small investment in a smart bet tracker becomes an essential step for improving betting bankroll management, gaining more betting knowledge and pinpointing issues. As always – keep your eyes open about the various terms and conditions each bookmaker will be flooding you with!
About the author:
Nikola is a renowned tipster with 4 years of experience in value betting.